Jean Stark's Book on Classical Loop and Loop Chains

Book Review: Review of Classical Loop in Loop Chains and Their Derivatives by Jean Stark and Jospephine Reist Smith


Classical Loop in Loop Chains is, in fact, a classic book and one of the first I was introduced to as a budding metalsmith. The basic concept behind making loop in loop chains is that a series of small loops of wire are made, fused closed and each new link is then inserted into the previous link. Repeating this pattern causes the chain to grow. Making chains is an excellent way to learn one facet of wire jewelry making.

Chapter 1 begins the book with the Origins and Applications of Loop-in-Loop Chains where Stark shares an intriguing history of loop-in-loop chains. This ancient technique dates back from the early Bronze Age to the end of the Middle Ages. This history is a fascinating read and the author brings us through the ages to loop-in-loop chain making today.

The second chapter, General Information, is quite helpful in describing the different types of chains possible to make, how they are made and the simple equipment needed to make them. Stark also explains the basic chain styles, their variations and suggests a sequence of chain making for the reader to facilitate their endeavors and skills.

Chapter 2 is quite meaty, explaining in detail everything you’ll need to know before beginning you first chain. How to make links, fuse them, shape them, are all here in detail. Stark also troubleshoots for you, warning the reader about potential problems and how to avoid them. As it that weren’t enough, she finishes the chapter with information about how to repair links.

Chapter 3, Single Loop-in-Loop Chains, provides five projects explaining this simple but lovely chain style. These five run the gamut from delicate to hefty as well as a bead and chain derivative. Nice way to start. Chapter 4, Pinched Loop Chains, has another interesting five projects. Chapter 5 describes Double Loop-in-Loop Chains with yet another gorgeous 5 projects.

Multidirectional loop-in-loop chains, multiple soldered chains and Multiple woven chains are covered extensively in the next three chapters for a whooping total of thirty-four loop-in-loop chain projects.

The final chapter is a lovely finish, Clasps and Terminations. As any good art jeweler knows, it’s all in the details, the finishing of pieces. Since this is where many jewelers struggle, having spent so much time on the central jewelry piece, finalizing this book with clasp making is a real bonus.


Classical Loop in Loop Chains and Their Derivatives by Jean Stark and Josephine Reist Smith is again, a classic book that you’ll want to have in your library of excellent how-to wire jewelry making books. Although the book is in black and white and has no gallery section, the book doesn’t suffer. The illustrations are plentiful, detailed and there are many black and white photos of the gorgeous chains to make. Wonderful book for anyone wanting to learn this great area of wire jewelry.

You'll find some more excellent wire jewelry making books at Best Wire Jewelry Making Books.


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